Fort Davis stands unique among frontier forts in that it became the Regimental Headquarters for all four Buffalo Soldier regiments that served during the last decades of the 19th-century.
Troopers of the Ninth Cavalry were the first Buffalo Soldiers to garrison Fort Davis. Arriving in the summer of 1867, they reoccupied the fort that had been abandoned by Union forces at the outbreak of the Civil War.
In addition to helping construct a new post, they had the responsibility of protecting travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road, a segment of the southern Overland Route to California.
The Ninth was soon joined by companies of the Twenty-fourth Infantry. Performing the usual, tedious, everyday duties in garrison, they also provided an invaluable service scouting, guarding water holes, repairing telegraph lines, and escorting wagon trains, survey parties, and stage coaches.
With the arrival of two companies of the Twenty-fifth Infantry in July of 1870, Buffalo Soldiers from three regiments were now stationed at the post. The troops were involved in numerous expeditions against Apaches into the Guadalupe Mountains and the southern Staked Plains of western Texas.
Although rarely encountering the elusive Apaches, these Buffalo Soldiers proved that troops could survive in rugged mountains areas and regions almost void of water.
Fort Davis is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest.
From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail.